Erfurter Weihnachtsmarkt

December 23, 2011

What a setting for a Christmas market!

Somehow my husband came across the Weihnachtsmarkt in Erfurt and we were so blown away by the photos, we immediately added it to our must-see list. Being just over two hours away made it possible to do on his very first day off for the holidays. So on Wednesday, we packed up the car with some snacks - and the dog - and headed east.

When we arrived in Erfurt, a bit later then we'd hoped considering our late start getting on the road and bit of bad weather slowing things down, we soon realized this Markt was much like Düsseldorf in that it was spread throughout various parts of the city. What I've come to like about this is the lack of traffic jams as everyone tries to get around the same small space dedicated to the celebration. It certainly helped out on this trip, seeing as we had to maneuver our four-legged family member through the crowd as well. 

The first section we happened upon was the Medieval part of the Markt, done up like a real tattered shanty-town from the 15th century. The booths were strewn with laced-up canvas as their roofs, hand-painted signs and its sellers donned era-appropriate outfits. I wouldn't call myself a Renaissance Faire/Medieval Times kind of gal, but something about the atmosphere in this old German town was contagious, and I almost wished I could swap out my jeans and sweater for a long skirt and bosom-displaying shirt. 

Look at that GIANT pan of roasted potatoes! 
I just wanted to jump in.

We headed further into the town to explore more of the Markt as it got later, knowing there was still so much more to see. On our way to the next Platz, we encountered a few things that made us laugh:

This little car all decked out for Christmas 
(love the mittens on the side mirrors!)

This funny, life-size Brotmann (we thought he was a waffle, but his plaque set us straight)

The next area of the Markt was impressive, both with its ornate architecture and with the culinary find of all the Weihnachtsmärkte to-date: the Hungarian Lángos. This deep-fried flat bread is served either savory, with a choice of various sauces and cheese, or sweet, with just sugar, or Nutella or apple sauce and cinnamon. After our dinner one of spicy sauce and cheese, we decided we'd come back on our way home and get a sweet one (yes, they were that good!). Now I'm really looking forward to a trip to Hungary so I can enjoy more of these tasty treats!

The Hungarian Lángos - my new favorite thing

Making our way down to the final area of the festivities was a breathtaking finale to a lovely evening. As we came further down the curved street, the main Platz, framed by a huge, colorful Ferris Wheel and the amazing cathedral, came into sparkling view. The setting was gorgeous and the set-up still allowed us all to enjoy ourselves, me without getting knocked into and sloshing Glühwein all over myself (an inevitability of the crowded holiday market) and Bailey free from being stepped on. 

While we didn't end up there for too long (considering the 2-1/2-hour drive to get there), it was definitely a worthwhile stop on our tour of Weihnachtsmärkte. Perhaps next year, we'll have to spend a bit more time - if for nothing else, to enjoy more Lángos! 

Candy apples all colors of the rainbow - but no caramel  :(

Only in Germany does a Marzipan potato count as a sweet

Talk about setting the stage!

Frohe Weihnachten!

And so on this final night of Weihnachtsmärkte in Germany, we're off to enjoy an evening at our own Christmas market. Here's to that last Glühwein!

*Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische